Friday, March 15, 2013


While not quite this insane of an ordeal, our evening went a little something like that.

After using 3/4 of a bottle of wood cleaner on our banister alone, my hands were covered in oil, my brain and my body were tired I decided to take a bath in my brand new operational bathtub. This was such a big deal. MY freestanding bathtub, with hot water! And a pretty tub full of water it was going to be! Paul was in our bathroom tiling the shower, I filled up the new tub and took a nice hot bath to relax. Washed, rinsed and repeated and then started to drain the tub.

"Man, this thing drains extremely loud. I wonder how loud it is in the living room. Like will people notice?"

Paul was standing there watching me, listening to it drain as well. I closed the drain, let it sit for a minute and then reopened.

"Like really loud," I said again as I tried to listen to where I could hear the water rushing. Maybe it was just reverberating through my tub?

Seconds later the toilet started gurgling. We looked at each other, laughing, thinking that was going to be an old house thing. "Oh don't mind the toilet gurgle when you empty the tub..." we'd say to guests. And then Paul turned around and saw inches of water rising in the shower pan floor (waterproofed but not yet tiled).


We remained relatively calm, but when we realized the tub was empty but the shower wasn't, we thought maybe there was a vacuum type of issue occurring in the pipes and so we tried to flush the toilet to release that bubble.

Nope. Wrong. Try again.

The toilet started to fill up quickly so I immediately shut off the valve at the wall. Paul ran down two flights of stairs, grabbed his shop vac, back up two flights of stairs and started sucking the water out of the shower floor and drain.

Whew. We got it. We both sat back for a minute and thought, "Well that sucked. Guess we'll have our plumber come take a look in the morning." Little did we know that this was the calm before the storm.

Paul sat there for a minute looking at the shower floor and drain pipe.


He threw down the shop vac hose and bolted down the hall, down the stairs. There may have been another expletive or two or three.

I followed him down the stairs thinking he had lost his ever-loving mind, he threw on the living room light and there, oh there, was water pouring from our brand new living room ceiling fan. I quickly turned the light switch off as he flew to the basement to throw the breaker. Water was coming down all over our floor, supplies and coffee table. Paul grabbed our paint canvas drop cloth and started catching the water, grabbing three 5-gallon buckets we set up under necessary spots and then went to work.

Midnight people. We were doing this at midnight.

We took the ceiling fan off first since that was where the majority of the water was coming out of the ceiling. Remember the laughing at the end of the clip? We're getting there.

Once the ceiling fan was down we started noticing two other spots where water was starting to leak through the drywall. We didn't want the water to just sit up there and we didn't want to leave it to fall on its own overnight so we cut a small hole at the first location to let the water drain. And drain it did. If you look to the far top left corner of the photo you can see the line of the seam starting to telegraph through the drywall. Lots and lots of water up there people.

We really needed to know what was happening so that hole got larger and larger and larger.

That is where we left it at 12:30 last night. With the water out of the ceiling (as far as we could tell) and the plumber already alerted we dried the wood floor, cleaned up some of the mess and called it a night.
That's when the laughing started. I went through the gamut of emotions or more likely I went through the entire stages of grief. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression and finally acceptance. They were all most certainly present.
This afternoon I am meeting with a company that our insurance claims adjuster has sent out to assess the damage and help come up with a replacement cost. Unfortunately our deductible is probably right at the threshold so we'll see how it all works out.
So not only do we have a lot of work to complete - we've unfortunately had to move backwards.
We'll get there. And thankfully this is all work we can hire out. And one day we'll look back on this and laugh. Hopefully not like Tom Hanks and not like we were laughing last night but we'll laugh nonetheless.

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